Why are growing numbers of people choosing to buy seeds from Irish Seed Savers?

The ethos here at Irish Seed Savers Association, is to conserve and distribute wonderful rare and heritage varieties, as well as to encourage the skills of saving your own seed and empowering people to do this in their own gardens, small holdings or farms.

All of our seeds are grown and saved in Ireland and are Open Pollinated which allows you to save your own seeds from them, keeping the variety true to type. By choosing Irish Seed Savers Open Pollinated Seeds you contribute to keeping food security in your own hands and Irish agricultural biodiversity alive and vibrant.

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  • This rare landrace kale from the Friesland area of northern Germany can no longer be found in commercial catalogues. “Highly praised and almost gone’”, according to grower Reinhard Lühring, “In the shade of the East Friesen Palm we cannot stroll under the southern sun, but we enjoy the green all winter long”. A very tall curly kale that can be harvested from late summer all the way through the winter and into the following spring. Average seeds per pack 200
  • Coming Soon
    This popular European heirloom is a quick growing, early-maturing autumn variety. It is renowned for being especially tall with a long, thin stem. Its leaves are light green and it has a delicious sweet flavour, ideal for salads and soups. Certified Organic Average Seeds Per Pack: 250
  • Millet is a highly versatile crop, one of the major grains to be grown in Europe in the Middle Ages. This variety is a ‘proso’ or ‘red’ millet type, first cultivated in Asia more than 4,000 years ago. It is produced for its edible high-protein seeds, which are often consumed in flatbread and porridge or eaten like rice. We found it very easy to grow this variety in East Clare, and with its beautiful panicles of small florets and shimmering amber/orange seed it was a stunning addition to the garden. Certified Organic Average Seeds Per Pack: 2000
  • This is a very popular overwintering onion from Japan. The big, delicious, golden bulbs of this variety store exceptionally well, up to a year. Perfect for roasting and soups.       Certified Organic Average Seeds Per Pack: 200
  • A unique Dutch heritage pea, ‘Blauwshokker’ translates as ‘blue pod’, referencing the stunning indigo-blue pods of this variety. The vines reach 1.8m in height, with striking bi-coloured purple/blue flowers that add great ornamental value to the garden. The sweet, green pods can be eaten young as mangetout, but this pea is especially wonderful in soups and stews, as was the tradition in Holland and Germany. Certified Organic Average Seeds Per Pack: 50
  • Coming Soon
    This is a lovely, reasonably compact variety, reaching a little under 1m in height. A fast-growing early cropper, suitable for either autumn or spring sowings, though may need additional protection when temperatures are cold. The tasty peas are sweet, delicious eaten fresh, cooked or frozen. Certified Organic Average Seeds Per Pack: 50
  • This is a vigorous, thick-stemmed variety. Reaching heights of 2.5-3m, adequate support is definitely required for this robust pea. Lovely white flowers and soft marbled green leaves develop as the plant grows, giving way to a plethora of pods. Highly productive, with pods containing an average of 8 large peas developing well into the season. The peas are delicious – very sweet and crunchy when raw, softening after cooking. If you have the space, this is a highly recommended variety to grow. Certified Organic Average Seeds Per Pack: 45
  • This sweet and flavourful red frying pepper comes from Southern Italy. The tall bush plants may need some support as they become weighed down with plentiful fruits throughout the season. This variety produces lots of bright green fruits developing a deep red colour as they ripen. Certified Organic Average Seeds Per Pack: 35
  • A Pumpkin for cool conditions. A stunning variety with sweet, thick, delicious flesh and beautiful slate blue-grey skin. Kindly donated to us by supporter Cora Hanley, and wow, what a find! Originally bred by the Gill Brothers seed company of Portland, Oregon, this variety was reselected by Oregon breeder and author of ‘The Tao of Vegetable Gardening’ Carol Deppe for cool soil emergence, large seeds, thick flesh, long storability, and vigorous growth. Average Seeds Per Pack: 10
  • This lovely winter radish came as the name suggests from China and was introduced to Europe in the 1880s. Perfect for autumn planting, the long, cylindrical, tapering roots reach 15-20cm in length and 5cm in diameter. The skin is a beautiful rose colour, with white tips and firm white flesh. These spicy, peppery roots are delicious when cooked up, or even sliced and eaten raw. A very good variety for storage. Certified Organic Average seeds per pack 250
  • Land Cress

    3.50
    Also known as American cress, these dark green leaves have a spicy flavour like water cress, but the plants are much easier to grow. Compact plants form attractive lobed leaves in rosettes. They thrive in the summer and autumn, but will also happily carry on throughout winter due to their cold tolerance. It’s surprising this delicious, peppery plant isn’t grown more widely! Average Seeds Per Pack: 1400
  • These rocket seeds were brought back to Mud Island Community Garden by garden member Mark Kawa from the Lebanon. They nick-named it Lebanese Rocket when planting the seeds with little hope for such a hot climate plant, but it has thrived in winter and summer. If not regularly picked it quickly goes to seed but the leaves do not go as bitter as others. The delicate champagne coloured flowers are equally delicious and mild. If properly managed it can grow to a mass of about 30cm and planted as edible filler in the flower garden. Certified Organic Average Seeds Per Pack: 700
  • This leafy-green perennial has its origins in the Mediterranean region. It is straightforward and quick to grow, with its characteristic lobed leaves ready to harvest only six weeks after sowing. The flavour is sweetly peppery when the leaves are young, becoming spicier and more intense as the plant develops. A lovely addition to salads. Certified Organic Average Seeds Per Pack: 700
  • Originating in Virginia, in the USA, this delicious curled spinach has the added benefit of being resistant to blight. As with most spinach, you’ll get better results if you sow in autumn as this crop tends to bolt in warm weather. Certified Organic Average Seeds Per Pack: 250
  • This Danish variety produces plenty of medium-sized dark-purple roots. It is very high-yielding - during variety trials carried out by Teagasc in the 1960s, Bangholm had an 8% higher yield than the control crop. We found them a great all-round swede. If you try them do let us know what you think! Certified Organic Average seeds per pack 450
  • Bred in the 1960s by Paul Vogel and Dr. Rolf Bielau of the Julius Kühn-Institut in Quedlinburg, just north of the Harz mountains, this tomato variety of German heritage does not appear in any seed catalogue that we are aware of. We obtained the original seed from the Gaterslaben genebank, and Seed Guardian Nick Hill grew it out in Carlow in the spring of 2021. A tomato with medium sized red fruits, thin-skinned and with a sweet flavour. If you try this variety, please let us know what you think! Average seeds per pack 35
  • This Norwegian landrace is a hardy variety, well suited to growing in northern climates. The squat, medium-sized turnips are pale yellow in colour, and have an excellent flavour. Good for cooking as well as eating raw if you enjoy the strong flavour! Certified Organic Average Seeds Per Pack: 450
  • A selection made at the Department of Agriculture's research station at Backweston in Co. Kildare when breeding work on vegetables was still being undertaken there. Lovely purple-skinned roots with great flavour and hardiness in the field over winter. Certified Organic Average Seeds Per Pack: 450
  • Originating from Russia, this shaped oval shaped salad tomato came to Irish Seed Savers in 1999 via the Seed Savers Exchange in the USA. A high yielding variety. Certified Organic Average Seeds Per Pack: 30
  • A classic green bean grown for its medium-sized, succulent, stringless green pods. The waxy, slightly curved pods grow abundantly in clusters on the plant. Tolerates heat and drought. Good for freezing. Average Seeds Per Pack: 30
Supported in part by the Department of Rural and Community Development and Pobal through the Community Services Programme. We confirm that our organisation complies with The Governance Code for the Community, Voluntary and Charitable Sector in Ireland.

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